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Public Funded Projects

 

National:

"Electrically-actuated porous materials for energy applications and sustainable tissue engineering technologies (ELECTRO-PORICS) - MAT2017-86357-C3"

European:

“Advanced integrative solutions to Corrosion problems beyond micro–scale: towards long-termdurability of miniaturized Biomedical, Electronic and Energy systems"

"Merging nanoporous materials with energy-efficient spintronics" (SPIN-PORICS) - Consolidator Grant 2014, funded by the European Research Council

"Biofilm-resistant materials for hard tissue implant Applications" (Bioremia)

"Magnetic switch controlled with voltage (MAGIC-SWITCH, ERC Proof of Concept)"

"Magnetoelectrics beyond 2020: a training programme on energy-efficient magnetoelectric nanomaterials for advanced information and healthcare technologies (BeMAGIC)"

 

   
   
Private R&D Contracts
 
 
 

"Electrically-actuated porous materials for energy applications and sustainable tissue engineering technologies (ELECTRO-PORICS) - MAT2017-86357-C3"

ELECTRO-PORICS is a highly interdisciplinary project whose primary goal is to electrically actuate porous materials for three different types of applications: (i) to increase energy-efficiency in magnetic actuation, computation and writing of magnetic information (by means of surface-induced magnetoelectric effects), (ii) to generate hydrogen by electrocatalysis and (iii) to perform tissue engineering (i.e., to promote cellular differentiation, gene expression) based on the electric stimulation of bone cells, muscles or neurones. The most suitable synthetic approaches will be selected as a function of the targeted pore size: sub-50 nm (e.g., electrodeposition from surfactant-containing electrolytes like block co-polymers, or selective dealloying), ranging from 100 nm to 500 nm (e.g., electrodeposition on colloidal crystal templates), and larger than 500 nm (using porogens). The materials under investigation will be mainly metallic alloys (Cu-Ni, Fe-P, Fe-Mn, Fe-Cu, Fe-Pt, Co-Pt, etc.), all of them potentially exhibiting, simultaneously, electrocatalytic and magnetoelectric properties. The project aims to integrate technological progress with the current energy efficiency, environmental and sustainability concerns, which constitute one of the major “Societal Challenges” listed in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme. Several disciplines (Physics, Electrochemistry, Engineering, Environmental Sciences and Biology) converge together in this proposal to provide a holistic approach to accomplish the Project’s goals. Efforts will be made to bridge the fundamental research activities of the Project to the industrial sector. The ongoing collaborations among the partners render a high-level, multifaceted scientific programme that ensures the success of ELECTRO-PORICS.

 
 
 

“Advanced integrative solutions to Corrosion problems beyond micro–scale: towards long-termdurability of miniaturized Biomedical, Electronic and Energy systems"

The Innovative Training Network mCBEEs is a joint venture between academy and industry embracing an interdisciplinary agenda focused on the assessment and solution of corrosion issues in small-scale components and aims at preparing the next generation of corrosion scientists by a dedicated training through research programme. Last decade has seen a significant growth in the use of miniaturized devices in many industrial sectors with electronics, telecommunications and biotechnology primarily benefitting to date. Device miniaturization is also currently impacting other front-line research and technology fields such as the energy storage and renewables, or the automotive industry. Indeed, micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS) and other small architectures are becoming increasingly ubiquitous as sensors, actuators, or structural and packaging element. However, important and very often overlooked issues in miniaturized devices are corrosion effects derived from the interplay among different materials, or from the combination of several manufacturing steps. These interactions can cause severe damage and failure to micro- and nanomachinery, thus affecting their performances even in the short term. It is imperative that any selected material employed in technological applications must be stable against corrosion. The ITN brings together 15 beneficiaries and 3 partners including 4 research institutes and 4 private companies belonging to 9 EU Member states, and to 2 associated states (Switzerland, Turkey). The Consortium complementarity will enable a high-level, multifaceted educational programme, where specials efforts will be done to bridge fundamental research with industrial applications.
       
 
 

"Merging nanoporous materials with energy-efficient spintronics" (SPIN-PORICS)

This Project aims to integrate engineered nanoporous materials into novel energy-efficient spintronic applications. Magnetic storage and magneto-electronic devices are conventionally controlled by means of magnetic fields (via electromagnetic induction) or using spin-polarized electric currents (spin-transfer torque). Both principles involve significant energy loss by heat dissipation (Joule effect). The replacement of electric current with electric field would drastically reduce the overall power consumption. Strain-mediated magneto-electric coupling in piezoelectric-magnetostrictive bilayers might appear a proper strategy to achieve this goal. However, this approach is not suitable in spintronics because of the clamping effects with the substrate, need of epitaxial interfaces and risk of fatigue-induced mechanical failure. The exciting possibility to control ferromagnetism of metals and semiconductors directly with electric field (without strain) has been recently reported, but most significant effects occur below 300 K and only in ultra-thin films or nanoparticles. This Project tackles the development of a new type of nanocomposite material, comprising an electrically conducting or semiconducting nanoporous layer filled with a suitable dielectric material, where the magnetic properties of the metal/semiconductor will be largely tuned at room temperature (RT) by simply applying a voltage, via electric charge accumulation. The porous layer will consist of specific alloys (Cu-Ni or Fe-Rh) or oxide diluted magnetic semiconductors, where surface magnetic properties have been recently reported to be sensitive to electric field at RT. Based on these new materials, three technological applications are envisaged: electrically-assisted magnetic recording, voltage-driven switching of magnetic random-access memories and spin field-effect transistors. The obtained results are likely to open new paradigms in the field of spintronics and could be of high economic transcendence.

         
   
 

Biofilm-resistant materials for hard tissue implant Applications (Bioremia)

BIOREMIA provides top-level multidisciplinary skills to 15 Early-Stage Researchers through an ambitious research and training programme in the area of biofilm-resistant materials for bone-related implant applications. The project has the following objectives: (i) To design and produce novel knowledge-based biofilm-resistant materials and surfaces outperforming present competitive solutions; (ii) To test, measure, simulate, and finally understand the macroscopic response of novel materials and surfaces under work conditions (bio-mechanical and -chemical behavior) and to select the most promising material candidates and processing regimes for up-scaling feasibility studies.

 

   
   
 

Magnetic switch controlled with voltage (MAGIC-SWITCH, ERC Proof of Concept)

Governments, healthcare facilities, commercial businesses and individuals are all storing information in electronic form. This has led to the emergence of digital and cloud-based technologies. The ability to use information more efficiently has resulted in a rapid increase of the value of information. However, with the Big Data revolution, information is facing new challenges. Energy efficiency during writing of magnetic information needs to be improved. Thus, enhancing robustness and energy efficiency in data storage systems is one of the major challenges in our modern society. Our vision for the near future is to turn the scientific output of the ERC Consolidator SPIN-PORICS into a new type of storage memory. MAGIC-SWITCH will deliver the prototype and business case for a new type of compact storage memory, at an industrial-relevant scale. The specific goal of this PoC project is to take the initial steps towards this vision by building a prototype (moving from Technology Readiness Level TRL 3 to 5), standardizing its manufacturing process and creating a business case for its commercial exploitation (including a pitch that can be used to close new partnerships or in fund-raising).

     
   

Magnetoelectrics beyond 2020: a training programme on energy-efficient magnetoelectric nanomaterials for advanced information and healthcare technologies (BeMAGIC)

BeMAGIC is a highly interdisciplinary European Training Network whose primary aim is the training of young researchers in the utilization of magnetoelectric (ME) nanomaterials to face important societal challenges linked to energy-efficiency, data security and health. The Network encompasses the design, synthesis, characterization and integration of ME materials into a variety of applications that share in common the combined action of electric and magnetic fields: advanced security systems, lowpower data storage, spintronic/magnonic devices, electric-field assisted anti-cancer drug delivery, cell electrofusion and deep neural stimulation. Studying all these technological domains in parallel will accelerate progress in each individual field because there are a number of cross-cutting synergistic challenges and potential cross-fertilization outcomes. Various disciplines (Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Bioelectronics, Biomedicine) converge together in BeMAGIC to provide a holistic approach to fulfil the proposed goals. Special efforts will be devoted to bridge basic science with system prototyping and market exploitation, covering several of the Key Enabling Technologies of the Horizon 2020 Programme. The Consortium brings together 13 Beneficiaries and 11 Partner Organizations, including 8 private companies, from 11 EU Member States. The partnership is diverse and gender-balanced (6 Beneficiary Scientists-in-Charge are female). The complementarities among partners will render a high-level, multifaceted educational programme in which world-class research will be combined with unique training opportunities in soft skills (career planning, dissemination, entrepreneurship, intellectual property rights, management, etc.). A continuous peer-mentoring of all activities will be performed in a pro-active manner to ensure that BeMAGIC generates highly-qualified specialists able to face future professional challenges, either in Academia or Industry, in a proficient manner.

   
   
 

Private R&D Contracts

“Optimization of metallic materials for the manufacture of structural rings” (contract with Acronimus and Gestamp-Linares S.A.)